Each day this week will include a post recapping what turned out to be a truly amazing weekend of music, food, beer, and maybe an episode of Battlestar Galactica. Lee was a gracious hostess for the weekend, and we wanted to say a big thanks to her, Doug and Brian. I really hope you check out all of the artists we'll be talking about - they are all working hard, and are all fantastic. Enjoy.
CORY BRANAN - Live at Douglas Corner Cafe
It's easy to walk into a bar without realizing the man onstage is indeed Memphis songwriter, Cory Branan. I didn't for about 5 minutes, and I consider myself a fan. Unassuming in a John Deere hat, the only thing distinctive at first is his unique, but not altogether original voice. Such is how Cory Branan communicates his talent, through subtleties. Be it the coy smiles, lyrics, drunkenness, phrasing, or an unmatched delivery, Branan always connects with his audience.
It's not hard to dismiss Branan with a quick Ryan Adams or Bright Eyes comparison, move back to your beer, and let his entire set pass you by. Yet sitting at my table on Friday night, eyes glued to the stage, I found him captivating. He deftly moved from hilarious, almost stand-up quality stage banter, to a song about a devastating maritime catastrophe. From that heartbreaking country-folk ballad, he quickly tuned his guitar and changed course singing, "I want a big ole barefoot, corn-fed, alcoholic, po-dunk, Mississippi white trash girl." This less than euphemistic tune, "White T Girl" was a highlight that evening.
And so it went that night. Cory drawing us in with his humor, his pain, and outright joy of being onstage. Unfortunately for most outside of the southern reaches, Cory is content to operate in the subtle corners of the music world he occupies. He is always writing - albeit never really recording or touring. My recommendation for now, is to find his two records The Hell You Say and 12 Songs and buy them. Then, the next time you walk into a bar, and someone is onstage singing in a faded green-trucker hat, give him a hard listen and pay attention - if you're lucky it just might be Cory Branan.